UK students with disabilities now have an on-campus ride service just like Uber, if not better.
UK’s Wildcab program is known for giving free, late-night rides to all UK students. But what many don’t know is that there is also a paratransit service within the Wildcab app designed to make on-campus commuting easier and more accessible for those with disabilities.
The paratransit service enlists two vehicles, called MV1s, specifically for students with disabilities. The vehicles are built to fit two wheelchairs, spatially designed with a back seat. The Wildcab after-hours service runs both of the MV1s and five mini-vans.
To be able to take advantage of the paratransit service, students must first go to the Disability Resource Center and be approved for the assistance. The approval allows students with temporary and permanent disabilities access to use the app and submit ride requests.
From the driver’s view, similar to Uber, the request shows the address, name and number of the person being picked up, while giving them an estimated time of arrival. When requested, there is a displayed navigation of the course of the ride. A difference from other ride share apps is the “honk” feature which notifies a rider when their driver has arrived.
Those who help to run the Wildcab program say that this new feature is a rewarding part of their jobs.
“It feels good when you’re making a difference,” UK Transportation Manager James Hutchins said. “It opened my eyes because I never thought something like this was possible.”
The Wildcab app is available on the Apple Store and Google Play.